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Opening minds to mental health

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We’re in the middle of Mental Health Month here in Australia.

To show their support, the ABC network went ‘Mental As’ last week, providing comedy, documentaries, entertainment and debate to help us better understand the issues, challenge the stigma, and raise money for more research into causes and treatment of poor mental health.

Despite the fact that close to half of the Australian population suffer with issues related to mental health in one form or another over the duration of their lives, it is still a topic that is hard to come to terms with.

We’ve seen this most recently in the discussions around Swans’ star Lance (Buddy) Franklin. His reasons for taking the remainder of the AFL season off has blanketed football’s public sphere with a sense of disbelief. How could someone with Franklin’s wealth, Bondi lifestyle and beautiful fiancé (Jesinta Campbell), possibly suffer from such an illness?

If anything, Franklin’s story has served to shed light on the non-discriminatory nature of mental illness. While mental illness is nothing new to Australia, clearly, our understanding of it, and willingness to openly discuss it, is.

Some interesting things to have come out of mental health week are:

How smart are you about mental health? Why not take a test to find out? Let’s bring mental illness out of the closet and attempt to kick away the social stigma attached to it.

In the meantime, if you have concerns in relation to your own mental health or that of a family member, friend or other person, have a conversation. Ask, are you okay? For more information check out Beyond Blue or contact them on 1300 22 46 36.

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If you are interested in working in the mental health field, National College offers the Certificate IV in Mental Health and the Diploma of Community Services (Mental Health). These courses prepare you to engage with people living with mental illness in the community and assist in their recovery. Call us to talk about it today (1300 83 533 73).

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